“Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them”. When a famous American fashion designer, Marc Jacobs, uttered those words, the last thing on his mind was rock climbing pants.
But, somehow, those words perfectly encourages the value of a rock climber’s clothing. Rock climbing clothing could be taken for just another fashion wear item, but his clothing’s worth is revealed when the climber wears them.
Climbing clothing that may not be given due attention can make the climbing expedition an exhilarating experience or one filled with shortcomings and regrets.
Considering that most climbing disciplines do not emphasize clothing as they are placed on gear, play as much role as every other gear needed for rock climbing.
In locations with a chilling climate, a climber’s choice of clothing can save his life. One aspect of clothing which deserves due attention is the climbing pant.
How To Choose Rock Climbing Pants
Often most climbing gives most attention to climbing tops than pants. An essential aspect of climbing clothing, the choice of climbing pants chosen can significantly affect a climber’s ascension.
The nature of pants worn can either aid or inhibit stretching of the legs. Combining looks, the nature of the material, and size further adds to the complications of choosing a suitable climbing pant.
Reviewed in insightful details, are everything to be known when picking climbing pants.
Unlike climbing shoes, climbing pants can be suitable for all climbing disciplines. But when picking out these sorts of climbing pants, flexibility should be a paramount factor.
Depending on the nature of the climbing discipline, the relevance of flexibility diminishes. Indoor climbing, such as bouldering, requires so much flexibility, as stretching for holds is one of the most recurring movement techniques.
Outdoor climbing, such as lead climbing and top-rope climbing, requires flexibility in climbing pants, but as stretching is limited, other factors such as weather may have to be placed ahead of climbing pants.
Applicable to outdoor climbing, the climbing route’s weather mainly decides the climbing pants to be worn. In areas with unexpected rains, climbers can adorn waterproof climbing pants with Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating.
This will significantly reduce inconvenience from wet underwear and hypothermia. Climbing routes in sunny areas will favor climbing pants, which provides enough room for airflow and have a reasonable level of Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating.
UPF is essential because climbers in such sunny locations spend hours in the sun, exposed to harmful UV Rays, and UPF protects the skin from these harmful UV Rays, leading to cancer over time. Yoga pants are ideal for such locations.
The nature of the material of climbing pants is vital as they hugely affect breathability. The materials climbing pants are made from should also be considered based on the climbing routes’ location.
Leather pants may not be ideal for sunny locations as the room may not be given for breathability. In contrast, such pants with DWR coating may be suitable for areas notorious for unpredictable rainfalls.
Nylon climbing pants are also an excellent choice for routes in rainy locations. For indoor climbing, cotton pants may be ideal. Nylon and leather pants are not recommended for indoor climbing.
4. Waistband material
The inconveniences felt standing feet above sea level with a climbing pant girded with belts while feeling the harness’s pressure can make a climbing expedition awful.
Depending on the climbing discipline’s nature and the climber’s preference, waistband material can be picked. Most climbers favor elastic waistband materials as it doesn’t exert as much pressure and inconvenience as belts.
Belts can be worn for any climbing disciplines, but the added luxury could be a significant burden, especially for outdoor climbing, as indicated earlier.
On the other hand, elastic material is designed to fit, and thus pressure on the waist is reduced, the burden of extra luxury is also eliminated.
This is specifically important for free solo climbers and climbers who prefer to ascend their routes without backpacks. Pockets serve as improvised replacements for backpacks.
The number of pockets used by a climber to hold important gears influences climbers’ choice of climbing pants. The nature of the climbing pocket design also plays an essential role in the selection of climbing pants.
Zip pockets are a great choice as they effectively house essentials such as phones, GPS, and keys. The spot where the pockets are designed is also another factor in the selection of climbing pants.
Traditional pockets are often of no importance when climbers ascend with a harness. Pants with pockets around the knee area or below the leg are good choices as climbers can easily reach them without squirming.
The last thing on any climber’s mind when picking out a rock climbing pant would most likely be its appearance. While appearance may rank low in the factor consideration scale, it has to be considered as you’ll most likely be climbing with other climbers.
Some male climbers opt for leggings, hilarious, it is, but the comfort it brings is worth the ridicule (They think so). For male climbers who do this, it’ll be nice to wear shorts over the leggings.
This is recommended for grown men and teenagers. The color of the rock climbing pants chosen should also be appealing.
7. Breathability and Weight
Like all climbing clothing, rock climbing pants should have enough room for airflow. All climbing pants should be lightweight, as it’ll make ascension easier.
The material of climbing pants often affects the pant’s weight, so it’s best to try out these pants before choosing them.
Most likely, the final factor to be considered when choosing climbing pants, costs should be reasonable.
Some of the best names in the rock climbing gear market and leggings markets, such as La Sportiva, Patagonia, Black Diamond, and LNDR, provide great pants and leggings at reasonable costs.
Please let us know your thoughts on our guide to the best rock climbing pants in the comments section below.
See more Guide To Best Belay Devices: How to choose, 7 Ultimate Rock Climbing Equipment List: What Gear Do I Need? and 10 Best Rock Climbing Places & Spots In The U.S.